For updated global info & data on COVID-19, please click HERE.For updated global data & graphs on COVID-19, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases and death counts in USA by state, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases in Florida via Florida COVID Action, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases in Florida, via Florida state government, please click HERE.I believe most of us are customers of Amazon and therefore would like to see Amazon continuing its efficient and successful operation while keeping all of its employees happy. So, what is the best way to arrive at this goal, to unionize or not to unionize?
President Biden has supported Amazon workers’ effort in trying to unionize in Alabama, despite Amazon’s attempt to defeat the drive. Now, the House has approved a sweeping pro-union bill. In the video published on March 10, 2021, “After Battling Trump, Billionaire Bezos Breaks With Trump Over Unions, The Beat With Ari Melber“, Ari Melber reports on the significance of this new bill and the battle workers face as unions bravely largely receded from Democratic Party policies and American life, below:
So far, Amazon has been able to fend off unions by: increasing minimum wage to $15 per hour and offering of generous benefits, using tweets, training videos, and internal hires. Watch the video published on Aug 22, 2019, “Amazon Fends Off Unions” to learn what unions are all about and how they could impact Amazon and its workers“, below:
Alabama is a deeply conservative state, largely pro-business and anti-union. It is one of 28 states with the “right-to-work” laws, meaning, any employee can choose not to pay union dues. Nevertheless, Alabama has a robust labor history, tracing as far back as the 19th century when the Knights of Labors served as an informal protective network for black and white workers alike. In 1930’s, IUMMSW (International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, aka “Mine Mill”, was an interracial (predominantly black) union in Bessemer, AL, that successfully organized workers at the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company (TCI), Sloss-Sheffield, and the Woodward Iron Company. For more about labor history of Alabama, please click HERE.On November 1, 2018, Amazon had increased its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all full-time, part-time, temporary (including those hired by agencies), and seasonal employees across the U.S. The new Amazon minimum wage had benefited more than 250,000 Amazon employees, and over 10,000 seasonal employees across the country during holiday. In the video published on Oct 2, 2018, “Amazon employees react to $15 minimum wage announcement“, below:
In the video published on Feb 22, 2021, “How Amazon’s $15 starting wage changed my life“, below:
Back in 2018, the main criticism toward Amazon appeared to be underpaying workers while owner Jeff Bezos was the richest man in the world. But now, Amazon employees in U.S. and UK are getting at least $15 per hour whereas about 21% (32 million) of the American workers are aiming to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. And Jeff Bezos is no longer the wealthiest man on earth.
Another factor may be considered: Amazon had automated much of the boring and not-so-pleasant portion of the tasks away, seen in the video published on Oct 31, 2019, “Amazon Warehouse is Run by Robots?“, below:
In the video published on Nov 29, 2020, “Inside Amazon’s Smart Warehouse“, below:
In the video published on Jan 25, 2021, “Amazon Fulfillment Center Tour with AWS“, below:
Seems to me:
It would be wise for Amazon to try to dramatically improve the working conditions of its employees, whatever that may be.
Amazon may improve working conditions by looking at its process algorithm to find its weak areas and consider implementing similar grievance procedures as that at IBM (where employees may continue to bring up the issue further up the rung if immediate supervisor did not address the issue).
An organization as big as Amazon is bound to have grievances. Union may help to monitor the grievances of the organization, but who is going to monitor the union?
It would be wise for Amazon employees or union (if there will be one) to try not to kill the golden goose by looking to the experience of the auto industry: for if future demand for dramatic increase of wages or working conditions would steer Amazon quickly toward automation/robotics/artificial intelligence, there may not be much of an union left to organize.
I am a mother/wife/daughter, math professor, solar advocate, world traveler, yogi, artist, photographer, sharer of knowledge/information, and resident of Windermere, FL. I've worked professionally in applied math, engineering, medical research, and as a university math professor in IL and FL for about 20 years. My husband and I loved Disney and moved down to Central Florida initially as snowbirds. But we've come to love the warmth and friendly people offered by this community and decided to move down to Windermere, FL full time in 2006. I am now spending time sharing information/ knowledge online, promoting understanding of math and solar energy (via http://www.sunisthefuture.net ), and developing Windermere Sun (http://www.WindermereSun.com) as an online publication, sharing and promoting Community ABC's (Activities-Businesses-Collaborations) for healthier/happier/more sustainable living. In the following posts, I'll be sharing with you some of the reasons why Windermere has attracted us to become full-time residents of Central Florida region. Please feel free to leave your comments via email at "Contact Us" in the topbar above or via [email protected]
~Let's help one another~
Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Founder/Owner/Editor/Producer of Windermere Sun
email: [email protected]